ABULAFIA (Bolaffi), EZEKIEL (Hezekiah) DAVID BEN MORDECAI (18th century), Italian scholar and poet. His family originated in Aquileia, but he himself lived first in Leghorn and then in Trieste, where he married the daughter of R. Isaac Formiggini. He began to write at the age of 13, but his early compositions (including an elegy on the victims of the disaster in the Mantua ghetto in 1776) were lost. His only published work was Ben Zekunim (1793). The first part, entitled Yesod Olam, is an introduction to the Talmud for young people, based on the Halikhot Olam of jeshua b. joseph ha-levi . The final section quotes commendatory statements on the Talmud by gentile scholars such as galatinus and basnage . The second part, Mizmor le-David, contains miscellaneous poems and elegies, revealing a fair knowledge of classical mythology and literature, and closes with patriotic poems, e.g., on the educational reforms of Emperor Joseph II. The preface embodies a vigorous vindication of the Hebrew language. An early work on Psalms, Shiggayon le-David, has been lost. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Schirmann, Italyah, 461–2; A.M. Habermann, Mivḥar ha-Shirah ha-Ivrit, 2 (1965), 148–50. (Cecil Roth)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • PIYYUT — (Heb. פִּיּוּט; plural: piyyutim; from the Greek ποιητής), a lyrical composition intended to embellish an obligatory prayer or any other religious ceremony, communal or private. In a wider sense, piyyut is the totality of compositions composed in …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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